Monday, August 18, 2008


Sydney Bauer is the author of a series of novels featuring Boston based criminal attorney, David Cavanaugh. The first in the series, Undertow, is out now in the U.S. Gospel, the second title in the series, is already available in Australia.

The author applied the Page 69 Test to Undertow and reported the following:
A long time ago, when I was an enthusiastic English student in high school, my much respected English teacher told me that painting the character of the villain in your writing was key to a piece’s success.

She also taught me the importance of ‘showing’ not ‘telling’ and the beauty of what a ‘back story’ could do for you, in developing your story’s plot.

Well, in a nutshell I guess that is what page 69 does for my novel Undertow.

Undertow features the adventures of my recurring protagonist, Boston criminal defense attorney David Cavanaugh, and his main nemesis, in this, my first novel, is a powerful US Senator by the name of Rudolph Haynes.

On page 69 we take a journey back to the day Haynes meets his prodigy – a Secret Service Agent named Vince Verne who is actually key to driving the book’s show stopping courtroom finale.

Their first meeting shapes the future of their relationship and lays the foundations of Verne’s loyalty to the senator. It gives the reader a sense of what David might be ‘up against’ as he tries to free his client – an African American woman accused of murdering the senator’s seventeen-year-old daughter.

As the book eventually shows, blind loyalty can be a dangerous thing – especially when an instruction is misinterpreted, and page 69 introduces this issue which drives both the tragedy and the triumph in the book.

What a great test!!!

Oh – and as far as I am concerned…it works!
Listen to an excerpt from Undertow, and learn more about the author and her work at Sydney Bauer's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue